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Samsung Unpacked: Jelly bean buds, 'gender fluid' phones

News Corp Australia

EARBUDS that look like jellybeans, phones that record 8K video and allow you to take and record notes at the same time, and an ecosystem to take on Apple.

  Samsung's vision for the future Unpacked 2020, launched virtually in South Korea overnight, is one which recognises the lines between work and play have not only been blurred, they've been smashed.

We're on our devices longer, we're now working from home, while trying to educate our kids in a COVID-19 struck world, and we need to do it faster and more efficiently.

And we need to have some fun along the way.

Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra, billing them as the ultimate devices for work and play.

Their description of them as gender fluid, however, has certainly sparked some reaction.

With colours ranging from Mystic Bronze to Mystic Green, the sleek designs with the S Pen will turn heads but also get your work done.

Samsung's new Note20 phones.
Samsung's new Note20 phones.



Garry McGregor, vice president, mobile division, of Samsung Electronics Australia, says the devices, which range in price from $1499 to almost $2200, are designed to connect with other devices, including Windows PCs, as well as
Google and Microsoft applications.

"In Note20 we are giving Australian customers a device that is truly so powerful it works like a computer and plays like a gaming console."

The Note range is pitched at business professionals, as well as creatives including artists, video bloggers, photographers and designers.

Samsung Bud Live are designed for comfort and all day use.
Samsung Bud Live are designed for comfort and all day use.



For the first time, S Pen features AI annotation, remote control functionality and presenter mode.

The Note20 offers 5G gaming, 8k cinema grade video and a 108 megapixel camera.

In an obvious dig at Apple, McGregor says: "Samsung isn't about a walled garden, we encourage collaboration with our partners - Google, Microsoft,  Spotify  and  Netflix - to  create  meaningful  and  seamless  experience  that  give  our customers the power to work and to play."

"We were very excited to talk about the broader eco system,'' McGregor told tech journalists in an Australian briefing ahead of the launch.

He said the coronavirus pandemic had thrown huge challenges at all of us to identify what was truly important.

"Work life balance lines have always been blurry,'' he said.

"Today they are absolutely destroyed."

Research had shown:

  • 70% of Australians leaning into tech more than ever
  • 60% using video calling more than have in the past
  • The spend on technology increased by 40% in the past three months.

 

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE S PEN

The S Pen features a 40% improvement in latency, meaning a more immediate, smoother writing experience.

It also includes Air actions which allow users to move backwards, return to home, a recent app or smart select with a wave action.

Like Apple, through Samsung Notes you can now sync notes on any device. Meaning you can jot down your thoughts on your phone and continue on your tablet or Windows PC.

As you scribble notes in a lecture or meeting, you can also record audio and attach it to that part of the note, as well as import PDF documents.



The S Pen is said to have improved handwriting recognition through advance AI and deep machine learning.

It's perfect for those who have writing only a doctor could decipher.

Samsung says this year will see its relationship with Microsoft deepened to mirror phone applications and notifications with a PC.

In that area, the Korean giant is catching up with integration already well established in Apple products.

Among the new features will be a new file folder structure and the ability to drag and drop files with your PC.

Samsung has unveiled some pretty cool looking technology at its Unpacked virtual launch from Korea.
Samsung has unveiled some pretty cool looking technology at its Unpacked virtual launch from Korea.

PLAY 100 XBOX GAMES ON YOUR PHONE

For gamers, the Note20 will offer Xbox Games Pass Ultimate - bringing 100 Xbox games to your phone, including  Minecraft Dungeons and Gears 5 and Forza Horizon. You will be able to connect up a Bluetooth controller and play the action via a big screen.

Your Note20 will also allow you to connect a mouse or keyboard via Bluetooth.

Samsung's flagship phone promises plenty in the video and camera department.

It has 8K video at 24 frames per second with a 21:9 ratio.

Enhanced Pro Video Mode allows you to control and adjust lighting and exposure, slow down or speed up your zoom as well as record audio from multiple sources and configurations.

The 108MP camera offers an Advanced Hybrid Laser Auto Focus System, to speed up focusing times.

The Note20 will offer a 30x times zoom while the Ultra will offer 50 times.

You will also be able to share content using 'point to share' with other similar devices.

Samsung says the more secure Ultra Wideband technology will turn your phone into a digital key to open your car or the front door of your home.

The Note20 will come with a 6.7 inch flat screen while the Note20 Ultra will sport a 6.9 inch curved screen with an industry leading 120Hz refresh rate.

The refresh is adaptive, changing based on the content you are viewing on the phone.

On the battery side, the Note20 will super charge to 50% in just 30 minutes while you can also use power sharing to charge other devices, such as your smart watch or earbuds.

TWO NEW TABLETS UNVEILED

For tablet fans, the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus offer up to 12.4 inches in screen real estate, quad speakers and the S Pen, which can be used as a remote and a keyboard to provide a more PC like experience.

Some of the apps include Clip Studio Paint for creativity and Canva to stand out on social media.

Galaxy Watch3 from Samsung was unveiled in Korea overnight.
Galaxy Watch3 from Samsung was unveiled in Korea overnight.

A NEW GALAXY WATCH

Samsung has also unveiled a new stainless steel Galaxy Watch3 which is thinner but still offering the popular rotating bezel as well music, power point and camera control.

Via Samsung Health you can do 120 different home training programs and track your workout progress on your watch.

The watch will help you monitor blood oxygen levels as well as your sleep.

Fall detection will send an SOS or ring pre-designated numbers if you fall over.

Blood pressure and ECG functionality are also built in but won't be available until approved by Australian regulators.

A run form coach will tell you whether you are running properly or whether one stride is bigger than the other, while female health helps women track their menstrual cycle.

Galaxy Buds Live are inspired by jewellery.
Galaxy Buds Live are inspired by jewellery.

GALAXY BUDS LIVE

One of the most interesting and innovative designs unveiled at Unpacked was the Galaxy Buds Live - jellybean shaped earbuds said to be inspired by jewellery.

Samsung says they're super comfortable and designed for all day use while automatic noise reduction means you can tune people and surrounding sounds in and out.

  They combine AKG's sound expertise with a bigger, 12mm speaker along with a bass duct, promising deep and rich sound.

They come with three microphones and Voice Pickup Unit so you can feel like you're in the same room as your loved ones, even when you're apart.

Buds Live will be included when you pre-order the Note20 Ultra, while Note20 buyers will get Galaxy Buds Plus.

GALAXY Z FOLD 2

SAMSUNG unveiled its latest foldable phone following feedback from its previous two designs.

The tech giant says Galaxy Z Fold2 combines the portability and flexibility of a smartphone with the power and screen size of a tablet for ultimate productivity.

The Galaxy Z Fold2 comes with two edge-to-edge, nearly bezel-less Infinity-O Displays.

The Cover Screen is 6.2-inches and the main screen is 7.6-inches, making them both larger than the Galaxy Fold. It will come in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra will be available in Australia from August 21. You can pre-order from today. Pricing ranges from $1499 for the Note20 to $2199 for the top of the line Note20 Ultra 5G phone.